how to spot a content writer

InsightsRead time: 2 mins
autumn maple leaves
Illustration of two content writers
  1. They will typically adopt an unofficial title for themselves. Word Nerd, Grammar Nazi, Comma Whore — they’re all good.
  2. Within moments of sitting at a café, they will begin proofreading the menu. (‘They spelt espresso wrong. Can we leave?’)
  3. They all have a drinking problem. It could be anything from wine to earl gray tea, but they will drink excessive amounts of it, and it will be a problem.
  4. They buy t-shirts with funny pictures and notebooks with quirky covers, despite their eternal surplus of funny t-shirts and quirky notebooks.
  5. Anything they write will be viciously shielded from wandering eyes until the final proofread has been completed.
  6. They adore puns. They will either be delivered with a cheshire grin and an “EEYYY?” at the end, or with well-exercised deadpan restraint.
  7. Their desk exhibits some odd little plant — something sturdy, like a cactus or a succulent. They have either named it and tend to it dotingly, or have somehow managed to kill the unkillable plant but still refuse to admit that it won’t bounce back.
  8. They have a favourite pen or mechanical pencil. DO NOT TOUCH the favourite pen or mechanical pencil. They won’t actually say anything because… you know. Confrontation is scary. But boy, will you be in for some passive aggression.
  9. Inside is nice. They like inside. Inside has hot tea and pajamas and Friends reruns.
  10. They know how to use a semi-colon beyond its now-typical winky-face adaptation; moreover, they will do so whenever possible.
  11. They probably own a pet, and they probably speak about him or her so often that for the first few weeks that you knew them, you thought they were talking about an actual child.
  12. They have favourite words. Personally, I enjoy ‘blurb’, ‘onomatopoeia’, and ‘oodles’.
  13. They are quiet individuals. Computer crashes? An eye will twitch, and they continue. Given a surplus of work? Knuckles will be cracked, and on they go. Boss no longer needs the article they spent the past seven hours researching, writing and editing? An unquenchable rage will burn within, consuming anything and everything in its path until only the charred semblance of their humanity remains… but silently, of course.

(This is where I usually put a little disclaimer to ease the blow. ‘Only joking, no offence meant, please don’t kill me, fellow office-workers’. But you know what? No. I AM a content writer and I AM this horrifically clichéd. Now please excuse me while I proofread this post another thirteen times.)